COFFEYVILLE — Snapping a two-game losing streak that dated back three weeks, the Parsons Vikings beat the Coffeyville Golden Tornado 61-54 on Friday night.
“It was nice to get off the ole struggle bus,” Parsons head coach Anthony Houk said. “The last couple of Fridays haven’t been our best. What stuck out tonight was that we’re not our best if we’re missing a piece.”
The biggest development for the Vikings was the return of Paxton Swanson to the lineup after missing the last two games due to injury, both games that Parsons lost.
The junior finished the night with 10 points.
“It showed last year,” Houk said. “If you’re missing a piece, it’s going to catch up to you. With Paxton back, it’s a completely different game. He does so well at getting in passing lanes and turning defense into offense. So we’re super excited to be back healthy.”
Julius Smith-Reece led Parsons with 13 points as he bullied in the paint.
“I saw a lot of good things out of him and all our seniors tonight,” Houk said. “I love the way Julius went at the rim. He made them pay when they tried to block him and he took some good angles.”
Sylas Hickles also dropped 10 points for the Vikings.
Caden Herring led all scorers on the night for Coffeyville, pouring in 22 points.
The energy in the locker room after the win was encouraging for Houk.
“We were excited and pumped tonight,” Houk said. “It was nice to see them like that. Even it’d been a while since we won, this group practiced their tails off with great attitudes. We’ll reap the benefits of it. We have to find ways to pick off wins every night we can.”
Coffeyville’s record dipped to 3-12 overall and 2-5 in SEK League play with the loss.
Parsons’ standing improved to 9-5 overall and 5-3 in league action. The Vikings are one game behind league-leading Fort Scott, which edged out Labette County on Friday night.
The Vikings head back southwest on Tuesday with a trip to Independence.
“They are playing well right now,” Houk said. “They have something the rest of us in the league don’t and that’s a true big. That’s their strength. At this point in the season, we have to find our strengths better than theirs. And it won’t be a one-man job to stop their big.”
Parsons 61, Coffeyville 54
Parsons: 9 15 16 21 — 61
Coffeyville: 10 5 16 23 — 54
Parsons: Ethan Houk 6, Jessie Jones 9, Cedric Webb 8, Joe Paige 5, Paxton Swanson 10, Sylas Hickles 10, Julius Smith-Reece 13
Coffeyville: Jammarion Logan 5, Ethan Viets 12, Cooper Rooks 4, Nathan Rippe 3, Caden Herring 22, Zach Slavin 8